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March 22, 2008

Jeffrey Goldberg Still Unable To Comprehend Reality

Jeffrey Goldberg explains for Slate how he got Iraq so wrong:

I will admit to a prejudice here: I believed—note the tense, please—that Republicans were by nature ruthless, unsentimental, efficient, and, most of all, preoccupied with winning. It simply never occurred to me that Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney would allow themselves to lose a war. Which is what they have very nearly done.

What Goldberg still cannot see, despite it hitting him in the face every second for five years, is that the "war" Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney have fought is not the United States Vs. Iraq. Nor is it the United States Vs. Things Jeffrey Goldberg Doesn't Like.

Instead, the war the Bush administration has fought is Their Branch Of The U.S. Oligarchy vs. Everyone Else On Earth. That war they have prosecuted ruthlessly, unsentimentally, efficiently, and with a constant preoccupation with winning. And while it's not something that can be permanently won, they've certainly been on a long winning streak.

True, this winning streak has required them to lose many of the imaginary wars that exist in Jeffrey Goldberg's head. In fact, it may require dismantling the United States as we know it. But that's fine with them.

The fact Goldberg is unable to comprehend this is what qualifies him to write this for Slate.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 22, 2008 06:38 PM

"I believe, for instance, that Darfur demands our armed intervention, but we are now paralyzed because of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq occupation."
How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? by Jeffrey Goldberg, Slate, Wed 19Mar08

The common meanings of our and we aren't the same as Goldberg's.

Posted by: Pvt. Keepout" at March 22, 2008 09:34 PM

By golly and by gum, most of us knew the Republicans were just a bunch of soft, sentimental bunglers.
Who publishes the likes of Goldberg? Hustler without the tits.

Posted by: donescobar at March 22, 2008 10:18 PM

i hate that people i know keep enemies lists, too. it makes talking to them nervewracking.

Posted by: hapa at March 22, 2008 10:30 PM

It's not that the war cannot be permanently won. It's that it only can be lost. After all, there is no war left once you've blown everyone else up, no?

Posted by: En Ming Hee at March 22, 2008 11:04 PM

I knew if I read ATR long enough you'd eventually explain what's needed to write for fancy internet sites. Truly, I am at your service.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at March 23, 2008 01:35 AM

There is no chance that the troops will be home by Christmas.

Posted by: Monkay at March 23, 2008 02:48 AM

There is no chance that the troops will be home by Christmas.

Christmas, 2020, you mean???

Posted by: konopelli/wgg at March 23, 2008 10:17 AM

Eh, an not unreasonable piece. And he does write for serious and widely read publication. But I am still curious, what does the proprietor of this sight actually do for a living. Does he have some role or experience that might qualify him to have opinions about everything? I am a lawyer and an economist with extremely substantive responsibilities that keep me close to key economic players in a good sized chunk of the world, hence I am entitled to have opinions on law, policy, econ, finance.

Well, gotta run, my little firecracker is making dinner for me, although I doubt we'll get even to the appetizers. God, I am God's gift to young women.

Posted by: xyz at March 23, 2008 11:41 AM

Apropos of nothing, when I look at the cover design for Harris's book, my first glimpse always tells me it's a globe wearing stereo headphones. Then I look again and see it as it really is, which is probably the difference between me and determinedly deluded souls like Goldberg, who will go to the wall rationalizing the niceness of the conservatives who are ready and aiming at him. They're just going to shoot somebody next to me! Yeah, that's the ticket...

Posted by: Kip W at March 23, 2008 12:13 PM

The Kurds, who make up nearly 20 percent of Iraq, remain, by and large, quite pleased with the Anglo-American invasion...

Yes, the Kurds, who want nothing more than their own state, are quite pleased with the destruction of Iraq's central government and the eventual breakup of the Iraq state.

So there's that, at least.

And some day, I expect to read this from Mr. Goldberg:

The Quebecois, who make up nearly 20 percent of Canada, remain, by and large, quite pleased with the Franco-American invasion...

Posted by: SteveB at March 23, 2008 01:56 PM

"But I am still curious, what does the proprietor of this sight actually do for a living."

he's know what they say: Out of Site, out of mind...

Posted by: konopelli/wgg at March 23, 2008 02:57 PM

"But I am still curious, what does the proprietor of this sight actually do for a living."

he's know what they say: Out of Site, out of mind...
Posted by konopelli/wgg at March 23, 2008 02:57 PM

Thanks, Konopelli, saved me the trouble.

Posted by: catherine at March 23, 2008 03:03 PM

You know, that's a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of how the world of blogs, a free market if there ever was one, functions. People come to a blog, not because of who the blogger is, but because of what the person has to say, whether it's funny or unusual, or just unusually well-written. Formal qualifications have nothing to do with it.

When I think about the handful of blogs I check in with regularly, I have no idea who the blogger is or what he/she does in all but one case. But I keep coming back to these blogs because the proprietor (and the people who comment) usually have an interesting take on the news.

On the other hand, I can think of one person who claims to have some very impressive credentials, but is a crashing bore, because he isn't interested in any topic except himself. If this person were to set up a blog of his own, and let the free market of blogdom have its say, he'd quickly find himself talking to an audience of one.

Maybe that's what irks him so about this blog. Lots of people, of their own free will, come here to hear what the host has to say. Who would do the same for our resident gasbag? One thing is sure: that's not a proposition he's ever going to put to the test, for all his professed faith in the free market.

Posted by: SteveB at March 23, 2008 03:35 PM

The fact Goldberg is unable to comprehend this is what qualifies him to write this for Slate.

But then, by definition, most anybody would be qualified to write for Slate....oh, wait...

Posted by: bobbyp at March 23, 2008 09:58 PM

I've never understood why Fred Kaplan still writes for that rag. Used to be his column was the only reason I'd visit Slate, but now I don't bother, because Slate isn't even worth a mouse click. It's like Norman Orenstein (Ornstein?) over at AEI -- doesn't matter how good your own work is, if you hang out with no-talents and serial liars, your reputation is bound to suffer eventually.

Posted by: sglover at March 24, 2008 01:48 AM

eh, I just finished today writing a review of M&A across CEE and CIS, 25 countries, and when released will be read by CEOs and CFOs across Europe, and will be cited widely by the press as well. The serious press, like the FT, not silly rags like Z. And the market values my wordsmithing skills very highly.

Posted by: xyz at March 24, 2008 09:28 AM

>And the market values my wordsmithing skills very >highly.

And yet it still irks you that people here can nonetheless see right through your schtick. Go figure.

Posted by: at March 24, 2008 10:56 AM

Oh, I get it. It's like Times Select, where you have to pay a fee to get at all the "good stuff" (like Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd) behind the firewall. If you don't pay, all you get is some boring asshole talking about his schlong.

Posted by: SteveB at March 24, 2008 03:08 PM

The Iraq debacle is what happens when foreign policy is formulated by narrow-minded ideologues with a 'F*ck [name of dictator du jour], we're taking him out! mindset' and widely endorsed by a supposedly independent mainstream media populated by highly intelligent, well educated dumbasses.

Those in power learned long ago that the best propaganda comes from what seems to be 'independent' sources.

A gullible populace, chronically susceptible to a simple narrative delivered by telegenic faces, has no chance resisting manipulation of this magnitude.

Posted by: Elvis at March 25, 2008 05:03 AM